By the age of 29, I was already a successful lawyer at one of New York’s most distinguished firms. My hard work had paid off; six-figures were now my income, while an impressive office and secretary completed the picture. As you can imagine, this made my parents incredibly proud when they boasted to their friends about me! Evidently, by majority standards I’d done quite well for myself.
The truth of the matter was, I felt utterly miserable.
For five long years, I loathed practicing law. Every single moment of the day was a struggle and my workload extended to weekends as well – making me feel completely drained.
On the brink of my milestone 30th birthday, I had enough. I was through with being discontent with my job and no longer wished to experience such career unease during this upcoming decade as much as I did in the last one. Though it seemed impossible at that time, deep down inside me there was an implicit knowledge that something better existed for me out there somewhere – so quitting felt like a necessary step towards self-discovery and growth.
Running from the law to do what I loved
I had no real direction in life and so I chose to do the only conceivable thing that made sense: enrolling at a graduate school. Education has been my passion, and as an excellent academic throughout my life, going back to school seemed like the perfect solution for me when feeling helplessly imprisoned (in other words – law).
After achieving my Human Resource Management degree from Cornell University, I went on to Goldman Sachs and began cultivating a career in corporate learning & development management for tech leaders across the globe.
I was passionate about my job from day one- assisting people in achieving their full potential at work. This included team building, performance management, leadership development and coaching for success. Each of these aspects were incredibly gratifying to me!
Transitioning so rapidly from my loathed job to a career I was passionate about was an extraordinary feeling. My fretful energy and continuous demeaning work shifted into positive reinforcement and limitless motivation. Even though my salary decreased, going from laboriousness to bliss made every day worth it – seeing the good that I could do for people filled me with enthusiasm and ambition more than ever before.
After two years of working at Goldman Sachs, I decided to branch out and establish my own consulting firm. My goal was to assist other Wall Street firms by providing innovative managerial approaches that would unlock the full potential of their staff members.
My joy was virtually boundless. For a pleasant eight months or so, everything in my life was simply ideal. I had amazing clients that trusted me and the work I produced, it was something I truly enjoyed – most importantly, this period of success brought more income than ever before!
And then came 9/11. Not only was the World Trade Center destroyed, my business fell apart as well. As New York City grieved collectively, team building and leadership development appeared to be forgotten temporarily by all of us in mourning.
Not knowing what I wanted to do, but doing it anyway
I racked my brain frantically, but I couldn’t find an answer to the looming question: “Now what?”
Instead, my mind was filled with an abundance of ideas for businesses I could launch, products to sell, websites to create, and more. For each thought that surfaced in my head, I hastened to buy the associated domain name. In no time at all, there were over one hundred domains owned by me.
It was a day that altered my life forever when I received an unexpected call from someone who wanted to purchase one of my domain names. That’s when I understood the value in domains such as digital real estate, and how it could be potentially extremely profitable.
As time passed, my obsession with domain names grew even stronger. I was purchasing thousands of domains every year and paying a hefty price tag for their yearly renewal fees. Without any doubt, I had become an Internet junkie! To try to make money out of this passion, I worked non-stop learning how to trade domains, build websites, use Google Adwords and Adsense tools effectively as well as write compelling web copy that sells products.
Despite my high-priced consulting and domain sale projects, I was habitually spending more money than making it.
Brushing off the career exploration naysayers
Everyone in my circles felt that I had failed to get “back on track” with regard to my career. Whenever I enthusiastically talked about the most recent domain name acquisitions and Internet marketing successes, they would look at me dubiously and advise me to “find a job” instead.
My parents were naturally disappointed in me and my dad tried to reassure me that I could easily be taken back by the law firm where I used to work. My mom always pointed out that working with the government would have great benefits, suggesting perhaps even a job at DMV or Post Office given my abilities.
Despite my income being wildly inconsistent throughout most of my 30s, I didn’t doubt that I was heading in the right direction. Where this path would lead me still remained unclear to me; however, one thing I knew for certain was that every day brought an abundance of inspiring new ideas and thrilling chance opportunities into my life- all of which made me joyous! Trusting that it’d all eventually make sense kept fueling and sustaining such optimism within myself.
Suddenly, a miracle happened.
Becoming the master of .CO domains
When I was a young 40 year old, I had the privilege of meeting Juan Diego Calle. We forged an instant connection and his enthusiasm for transforming Colombia’s.CO domain into a renowned global Web address ignited my own passion too.
With my years of experience in the domain space, I knew how frustrating it was for people to find a good domain name. So when Juan suggested this project that captured my imagination like nothing else ever before, I felt confident enough to seek out the job despite never having held any marketing position previously. Since then I have been working on making sure everyone can enjoy their perfect domain names for business, brand, or blog projects – and with great success!
Three years ago, we introduced .CO to the global public. Since then, inhabitants in over 200 countries have secured more than 1.5 million domain names with our platform! As Vice President and Brand Strategist of this incredible company, I’m grateful for my work since it allows me to use all of the knowledge that I’ve accumulated throughout my career. It’s an honor to collaborate with a team of professionals who help people around the world take their dreams online every day!
If you’re stuck doing work that makes you feel unfulfilled and like your career path is going in the wrong direction, allow me to lend a bit of guidance.
1. Listen to yourself
Are you feeling anxious when it comes to going to work each day? If so, your body is telling you something isn’t right. Trust your instincts; if they’re indicating that this job or career path may not be the best fit for you, chances are they’re correct.
Seize the moment and take action! You never know what amazing opportunities await you just around the bend.
2. Open your heart
Release the belief that you must ascend a corporate ladder to achieve success. Instead, open your spirit and consciousness to new people, encounters, and possibilities.
If you allow your interests, instincts, and passions to guide you, there is no limit to the intriguing life paths you will be able to explore. By trusting yourself and embracing unexpected opportunities that come your way, you can uncover hidden talents while developing new perspectives on life.
3. Don’t let your degrees dictate your choices
Just because you have a law degree doesn’t mean that you have to pursue a career in the legal field. The same applies to professionals trained in human resources, finance, and medicine – or any other industry.
It’s okay to deviate from the plans you make. No matter what your degree says, it is how you utilize your education and take advantage of life’s opportunities that matter most. Don’t be afraid to seize these moments – they could shape tomorrow!
4. Tune out the naysayers
Exercise caution with self-proclaimed career counselors who may not have a full grasp of your ambitions or options. After all, it’s you who steers the helm of your life!
When I kicked off my romance with domain names, those closest to me were convinced that I had lost my mind. Fortunately, they were wrong; this bold move turned out to be the best career decision of my life. Though their intentions may have been pure and loving if I’d listened to them instead of following through on what felt right in my heart – who knows? Maybe today I would still be a disheartened attorney living an unfulfilled existence.
5. Keep moving forward
Don’t become discouraged when life and your career present you with errors or unsuccessful attempts. It’s the collection of these experiences – particularly those that were difficult – that form who you are and make you unique.
Although I loathed my job as a lawyer, leaving that position taught me there was work out in the world that I could truly enjoy. As a management consultant, it filled me with immense happiness; however, only when my business plummeted did I find what would be my true career passion moving forward.
Believe in yourself, learn from your wrong turns, and concentrate on what you’re good at and love. Most importantly, persist with your journey! You can always adjust when needed; just don’t let it stand in the way of progress.
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